Don’t get stuck with SUS

As some of you might already have read Microsoft will stop delivering updates to SUS servers on wednesday December 6, 2006 This effectively gives it’s administrators exactly six days to get their act together for patch tuesday on December 12, 2006.

The story on Update Services

Version 1.0

Microsoft introduced Software Update Services (SUS) in September 2003 and it has since helped many systems administrators all over the world to update Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Windows XP systems. The tool was positioned as ‘the local Windows Update’ website.

Version 2.0

On June 6, 2005 Microsoft announced Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) as the successor of SUS after a 8 month evaluation known as Windows Update Services. (WUS) Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) is also known as WSUS 2.0, effectively versioning the original Software Update Services as SUS 1.0. Microsoft WSUS 2.0 solves many problems systems administrators had with Software Update Services (SUS 1.0) like we see with many ‘version 2.0’ programs:

  • More features
  • Better performance
  • New interface

B-)

The biggest improvement on SUS 1.0 in WSUS 2.0 was the ability to update Microsoft Office, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL and Microsoft Windows Vista (with ServicePack 1 installed)

Version 3.0

On the Microsoft Windows Update Services Home website you can find WSUS 3.0 Beta 2 which is undergoing rigorous testing in an open evaluation, just as WSUS 2.0 did in it’s WUS days.

 

End to SUS 1.0

Microsoft announced an end to Software Update Services (SUS 1.0) when it released Windows Server Update Services (WSUS 2.0) as of June 6, 2006 After that date, no new update content would be delivered to SUS 1.0, effectively rendering it useless. Microsoft later delayed the end-of-life scenario with six months to December 6, 2006 when they found out many organizations were merely in the process of introducing SUS 1.0 instead of enjoying it to the fullest.

Another data in Microsoft’s announcement is the end to the download availability of Software Update Services (SUS 1.0) per August 24, 2006. Hery, wait a minute! that’s tomorrow!

 

Migrate to WSUS 2.0 or wait for 3.0?

One of the options systems administrators jave is to upgrade to WSUS 3.0 as soon as it gets released. When testing the product you could use the Beta 2 version, which is available in an open evaluation.

There’s a pretty good chance WSUS 3.0 gets released before December 6, 2006. This would not only widen options for administrators still working with Software Update Services (SUS 1.0) but would also make sense in terms of readiness for Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Exchange 2007. On the other hand ýou might get in pretty big problems when your Software Update Services stop working after December 6, WSUS 3.0 isn’t available and some scriptkiddie wrote an exploit for a security hole that gets patched on patch tuesday six days later. Furthermore remember Microsoft WSUS 3.0 Beta 2 was released only two weeks ago and WUS was publicly available for almost seven months.

Skipping WSUS 2.0 might prove useful when you already planned to implement your Update Services on Microsoft Windows Server 2003 with ServicePack 1 or Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2. When you want to keep using your existing Windows 2000 Server for updating your clients then I suggest you upgrade to Windows Server Update Services (WSUS 2.0)

 

Conclusion

Be quick to download Software Update Services (SUS 1.0) when you want to implement it to use it for the next three months or to complement your IT collection to show your grandchildren referring to those crazy years when products needed security fixes.

Get ready to upgrade to Windows Server Update Services when you’re already enjoying the joy of completely patched networks and want to keep it that way when Microsoft denies your SUS server access to new updates. Depending on the availability of WSUS 3.0 you might choose to upgrade to it before that date.

Further reading

Support life cycle for Microsoft Software Update Services 1.0 (KB905682)
SUS 1.0 support extended from June 6, 2006 to Dec. 6, 2006 (the WSUS Blog)
WSUS Addresses the Shortcomings of SUS
Windows Server Update Services with Service Pack 1 Product Overview
Windows Server Update Services System Requirements
Deploying Microsoft Windows Server Update Services
Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Overview
Still running SUS? Migrate Now! (MSFN)

One Response to Don’t get stuck with SUS

  1.  

    For all sweating SUS Admins, there's still some hope, for the following information can be found on the Microsoft SUS pages:

    In response to customer feedback, and in order to provide customers with additional time to migrate from Software Update Services (SUS) 1.0, Microsoft has announced an extension to the end of support date to Tuesday, July 10, 2007. Windows Server Update Services, (WSUS), the successor to SUS, supports updating for a broader set of Microsoft products and provides robust management and reporting features. Customers can download WSUS from Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

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